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2nd Annual Peer Recovery &Resiliency Symposium

October 6, 2019 @ 11:00 am - October 7, 2019 @ 12:00 pm

2nd Annual Peer Recovery & Resiliency Symposium (October 6 & 7, 2019)

Post-traumatic growth is more than recovery and resiliency, it’s about reconfiguring yourself into something bigger and better than you were before. Last year our first annual PR&R event was sold out, and six of our peers from across North America came and shared their experiences of recovery, resiliency and post-traumatic growth. This year we’ll have a dispatcher from Las Vegas, a motivational speaker from Calgary, a medic from Charlotte NC and the first in Medic from the Humbolt tragedy in Saskatchewan. All our speakers will be presenting on post traumatic growth and recovery.

This year we’ll be in Canmore, Alberta at The Malcolm Hotel in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Just like last year, we’re keeping this event cozy, so limited tickets are available. Lunch is included and will be provided on October 7th.

Here’s the lineup:

October 6th, 17:00 – 23:00

Come network with your peers and hear presentations from mental health initiatives currently available in Southern Alberta. If you’re not from this part of the world, then take what you’ve learned back to your own area and start a similar program for your service.

October 7th, 08:00 – 17:00


Michelle McKeaveney – Corrections Officer

Michelle’s blunt, honest, and heartfelt delivery combined with her highly energetic motivational approach leaves you feeling empowered and offers you the necessary tools to “let go and live free,” to remind you that life does not end with barriers or obstacles. Her identity and beloved career in Corrections ended abruptly with a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD/OSI). Compounded with a diagnosis of Grave’s Disease as well as Thyroid Eye Disease. Her life’s direction resulted in numerous painful surgeries in Canada and at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, US. Through her varied experiences, she has committed her life’s work to service and charity. Michelle has been a Social Worker and Correctional Officer since Convocating with her Bachelor’s Degree in 1993. She has worked as a Mental Health Therapist, and Counsellor on First Nations communities for over 20 years. She’s a wife of a Veteran who is also a Correctional Officer and Mother of 3 adult children.

Allan Dignard – Paramedic/Firefighter

Allan began his EMS career in 1998. He’s an advanced care paramedic, senior firefighter and a certified personal trainer and Health, Wellness & Life Coach. For many years Allan suffered from depression, anxiety, emotional eating and alcohol abuse, he now uses fitness, nutrition and personal development to maintain his healthy mind and body. As the founder of Third Alarm Coaching, Allan now shares his mental health successes with others around the world and helps them on their own path to post-traumatic growth.

Stephanie Benson – Paramedic

Stephanie grew up in a small rural town in the mountains of North Eastern Pennsylvania where everyone has some connection to Fire, Police, EMS or nursing; it seemed inevitable that she would end up in this career. Shortly after getting her EMT she was hired on with the busiest 911 agency in all of North Carolina. After the “civil unrest” hit her city of Charlotte, NC she began to develop anxiety regarding the safety of her brothers and sisters. Witnessing the city be torn apart and the people she’s sworn to help and protect turn on her and her coworkers was a horrible, gut-wrenching experience for her. The brutal murder of a close co-worker by her husband and her own domestic violence situation compounded her already fragile state. Stephanie became exhausted with a funeral every month for a co-worker that was done by their own hands and a few that were due to domestic violence. In 2018 she reached her lowest point as she began preparations for her own funeral. “It took me falling down before I was able to rise back up.” Stephanie hopes by speaking out it will cause a spark somewhere inside someone to realize that they could channel all of these feelings of needing to be “Free from it all” into something that can truly help someone else.

Leah Neudorf – Paramedic

Leah Neudorf started working in rural EMS in April 2016 at the age of 19 and took her Primary Care Paramedic in Saskatoon in 2014-2015. Leah began her EMS career with North East EMS in Nipawin and being a paramedic has been a dream for her since she was 12. Wanting to be present when people had the need and to help as many people she could, she had overcome many barriers in making her dream of being a paramedic a reality. On April 6, 2018, Leah and her partner were the first paramedics on the scene at the Humboldt Broncos bus crash. An accident that has impacted so many. Leah’s is learning to overcome the daily challenges at work, at home and with family and friends. A month following the incident Leah and her fiancé Matthew planned to marry, shortly after their marriage, she was hired with Parkland Ambulance in Prince Albert. Leah and her husband Matthew currently reside in Prince Albert where they both work. Leah hopes her story can help others as well as continue to help healing within herself.

Charlotte Gentry – Dispatcher/EMT/Quality Improvement Coordinator

Charlotte Gentry is the Quality Improvement Coordinator for Las Vegas Fire and Rescue Combined Communications Center. She is also a Priority Dispatch Software Instructor. She has been in EMS for over 20 years. She spent most of her career in Georgia, where she worked on the ambulance in one of the busiest cities, Atlanta. During this time she also worked in dispatch. In 2014 she moved to Las Vegas, which she now calls home. She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and a Master’s degree in Emergency Management. She was attending the Route 91 Harvest Music festival on Oct. 1, 2017, when a gunman opened fire on the crowd, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more.

Brian Willis – CEO Winning Mind Training / Police Officer Ret.

Brian is an acclaimed thought leader, training innovation specialist, a catalyst for change in the law enforcement profession, speaker, author and trainer. Brian is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his contribution and commitment to Officer Safety in Canada, a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contribution to the law enforcement profession and in 2011 Brian was named as the Law Officer Trainer of the Year. Brian began his law enforcement career with the Calgary Police Service in 1979, and over the next 25 years, he worked as a patrol officer, tactical officer, patrol supervisor and trainer. From 1995 to 2004 he was the head use of force trainer for the Calgary Police Service (an agency of 1950 officers). In that role he was responsible for researching, developing, instructing and overseeing the Officer Safety, Subject Control Tactics, Crowd Management, Incident Command and Emergency Vehicle Operations programs. Brian also served on the Crowd Control Unit for 19 years as a constable, supervisor in charge of training and development, Platoon Commander and Deputy Commander. He served in integral roles during the World Petroleum Congress and G8 Summit in Calgary. Brian is committed to leading the fight against mediocrity and helping law enforcement officers, trainers and leaders create a Legacy of Excellence through Life’s Most Powerful Question – What’s Important Now? (W.I.N.)


October 6, 2019 @ 11:00 am
October 7, 2019 @ 12:00 pm


The Malcolm Hotel
321 Spring Creek Drive
Canmore, Alberta T1W 0K3 Canada
+ Google Map
(403) 812-0680
View Venue Website


The Peer Recovery & Resiliency Society
View Organizer Website
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